Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has declared September 2015 as Campus Fire Safety Month to raise awareness among all Tennesseans about the need for fire safety in both campus and off-campus occupancies.
September is recognized as National Campus Fire Safety Month and since 2005; more than 200 proclamations recognizing Campus Fire Safety Month have been signed by the nation’s governors or approved by resolutions in the U.S. Congress.
“Bristol Fire Rescue and King University continues their ongoing partnership toward making Fire and Life Safety a top priority by promoting good fire-safety habits throughout the King College campus. Our goal is to ensure that meaningful efforts are dedicated to preventing loss of life and property,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jack Spurgeon. “We’re urging students and parents to choose fire-safe housing in order to reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening situations.”
From January 2000 through June 2015, at least 169 people have died in the U.S. in college-related fire fatalities with a majority of those fire deaths occurring in off-campus housing, according to information compiled by Campus Firewatch. In Tennessee, the last reported campus-related fire fatality occurred in 2005.
Campus-related fire deaths have common factors including a lack of automatic fire sprinklers, missing or disabled smoke alarms, careless smoking habits, and the misuse of alcohol — which impairs judgment and hampers evacuation efforts.
The process of selecting fire-safe housing should be a top priority for students and parents, so fire officials prepared a list of questions that should be asked and answered before moving in:
1. Are working smoke alarms installed? (Preferably in each bedroom, interconnected to sound all if any one detects smoke)
2. Are there at least two ways to exit your bedroom and your building?
3. Do the upper floors of the building have at least two interior stairways or a fire escape?
4. Is a sprinkler system installed and maintained?
5. Are the existing electrical outlets adequate for all of the appliances and equipment without the need for extension cords?
6. Are there “EXIT” signs in the building hallways to indicate accessible escape routes?
7. Does the building have a fire alarm system installed and maintained?
8. Has the building’s heating system been inspected recently (within the last year)?
9. Is the building address clearly posted to allow emergency services to find it quickly in the event of an emergency?
10. Does the sprinkler system or fire alarm system send a signal to the local fire department or campus security?
Bristol Fire Rescue proudly partners with the Unites States Fire Administration’s fire prevention initiative, “Fire Is Everyone’s Fight,” and promotes fire safety through a myriad of programs year round. For more tips on Campus Fire Safety contact Assistant Chief Jack Spurgeon at (423) 989-5701.